Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...

Two of the most respected musicians in the world will collaborate on an extraordinary new television series, it was announced today.

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… will be hosted by its namesake and produced in conjunction with Sir Elton John’s Rocket Pictures. Elton John will be one of the program’s Executive Producers. Conceived and developed in Canada, the Canada/United Kingdom co-production will start shooting soon for broadcast later this year on CTV in Canada, Channel 4 in the UK and Sundance Channel in the US. FremantleMedia Enterprises will handle sales of the show to the rest of the world.

Designed to provide a forum for in-depth discussion and performance with the most interesting and influential artists and personalities of our time, the show fuses the best of talk and music television.

Explaining his approach to the program, Elvis Costello said, “I’m not interested in extracting some dark secret. I’d rather hear about a bright secret, a deep love or a curiosity that might be otherwise obscured by fame. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk in complete thoughts about music, movies, art or even vaudeville, then frame it with unique and illustrative performances.”

“Elvis Costello is the foremost expert on popular music,” added Executive Producer Sir Elton John. “I thought it would be sensational to use his knowledge and intelligence to explore the artistry of musicians and other fascinating people involved in making great music, as well as true music aficionados.”

“The extraordinarily versatile Elvis Costello and the legendary Elton John have joined forces to bring viewers an unprecedented window into the world of music,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Spectacle will be spectacular – providing a platform for the most acclaimed artists of our time to discuss and demonstrate their craft in a unique setting.”

Co-produced by Toronto’s reinvention entertainment, SpyBox Pictures and Prospero Pictures, along with London-based Rocket Pictures, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… promises to be an unpredictable and unprecedented television experience. The series of 13 one-hour programs will feature everything from intimate one-on-ones with legendary performers and notable newcomers to thematic panel discussions.

Spectacle will also feature a variety of performance elements including unique collaborations, acoustic and impromptu “illustrative” demonstrations of the creative process, and some original interpretations of others’ songs by Costello.

The program’s eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host. Elvis Costello is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave reviews.

Consistent with Sir Elton John’s long-standing commitment to philanthropy and music, the series producers have struck an exciting association with the (Product) RED (www.joinred.com) campaign created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund (www.theglobalfund.org) to fight AIDS in Africa. Select program excerpts and performances will be distributed in a variety of new media and conventional platforms, with a portion of the profits directed to the Global Fund.

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